Trump names members of his advisory panel

Source: Marc Heller, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Donald Trump today announced that his agriculture advisory committee includes state commissioners of agriculture, a lobbyist for pesticide companies and a poet inspired by cowboys.

The Republican presidential nominee named 64 members of the panel, which will help craft the candidate’s positions on rural priorities and agriculture programs, in an effort to boost his appeal in farm country.

“The members of my agricultural advisory committee represent the best that America can offer to help serve agricultural communities,” Trump said in a press release. “Many of these officials have been elected by their communities to solve the issues that impact our rural areas every day.”

A New York City real estate developer, Trump pulled people largely from the South and Midwest, with the exception of Maine’s commissioner of agriculture, Walt Whitcomb.

The chairman of the advisory committee, which Trump had already announced, will be Charles Herbster, owner of the cattle breeding business Herbster Angus Farms in Nebraska. He also owns Conklin Co., a marketer of animal probiotics, fertilizer and roofing systems that could be used in agricultural settings.

The list also includes Rebeckah Adcock, senior director of government affairs for CropLife America, an advocacy organization for pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.

Federal politicians on the committee include Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), chairman of the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee; House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway (R-Texas); Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.); Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), former chairman of the Agriculture Committee; and Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.).

Sitting GOP governors on the panel include Terry Branstad of Iowa, Sam Brownback of Kansas, Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota, Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota, Mary Fallin of Oklahoma and Pete Ricketts of Nebraska.

The list also includes a handful of former officeholders, including John Block, secretary of Agriculture during the Reagan administration.

Trump’s campaign also tapped Red Steagall, a country music artist who is also the official cowboy poet of Texas, a position to which the Texas Legislature named him in 1991.